Product Reviews

Here are some product reviews I have produced over the last year:

Nespresso D290 Concept – Espresso Coffee Making Machine

The name Nespresso should immediately ring bells in the minds of coffee lovers; their machines and coffees are renowned for their distinctive quality and their proper espresso functionality. So how does the Nespresso D290 shape up?

From an aesthetic point of view, the Nespresso D290 looks quite impressive. It is available in either a deep fire-engine red or silver finish. Operation is simple. Raise the hinged top using the easy-grab handle and then pop in a coffee capsule. Close the lid and choose brewing options from the backlit buttons.

Nespresso D290 machines use the standard Nespresso coffee capsules available throughout the western world. This machine is shipped with 12 coffee capsules for consumers to choose from. The full range of Nespresso capsules cover a wide range of espressos, and split between 4 ranges, Nespresso offers a total of 16 varieties!

The Nespresso D290 has a simple operation; capsules for a single serving of coffee are inserted into the carrier and the correct cup size selected from a button. Coffee is extracted from the capsule and in only a minute, you have a cup of fresh coffee brewed to perfection. The process is very simple and the machine can take up to ten empty pods in an internal receptacle so there is no cleanup operation between each cup. When the empty capsule receptacle is full, a beep is sounded to advise the user to empty it. Startup time is short – after only 30 seconds or so the machine is ready to serve! Another feature is that the Nespresso D290 has a built in timer so that it will be immediately ready for use when the timer has been set.

There is a foaming wand on the Nespresso D290 which will allow users to make Cappuccino and Latte beverages and add foamed milk to make other beverages such as hot chocolate. The process is easy; the foaming wand is dipped into a cup of cold milk and sucked up and deposited hot and foaming in the cup that sits beneath the coffee dispenser. This makes the creation of frothy coffee a breeze! Cleaning is simple too; because steam passes through the tubes, just sucking up clean water will clean the inside of the frothing assembly.

On the subject of cleaning, the Nespresso D290 itself requires little more than a wipe over with a damp cloth. Because 10 used capsules are stored internally, a wipe up will only be needed to cover spills or drips on the outside and every time the receptacle is emptied, a quick wipe inside will suffice The drip tray beneath the cup is easy to access and clean too. Overall the Nespresso D290 is an easy machine to keep clean requiring as little effort as is imaginable for a kitchen appliance.

The Nespresso D290 water tank can take 40.5 ounces of water and can be removed for convenient filling. The average coffee cup is 6 ounces so the Nespresso D290 can supply about 5-6 cups per water refill. This machine has a button to select between regular cup size and the “Lungo” (large) cup size. Capsules are available for the differing cup sizes too.

From a price perspective the Nespresso D290 is not exactly cheap at a list price of around $399 but then it is a fully featured coffee machine. This is more than just a consumer machine for the home. It is solidly built and should be robust enough to be used in offices and other busy areas where coffee is served or made available. This brings to light the other side to the price argument; the cost per capsule, which at around 50c each is very reasonable. This makes the machine a cost-effective way to produce coffee. The capsules can only be bought in strips of 10 but that does not seem to be an unreasonable unit amount to purchase. From a storage point of view, there are a number of accessories that can be bought to store coffee capsules in – from simple stackers to rotating carousels that can carry all the blends.

The Nespresso D290 is a versatile machine that can offer a lot of service for the money. They can produce proper espresso coffees and require almost no maintenance. A de-scaler kit is available for those in hard water areas but aside from the occasional wipe down, there is nothing to attend to. The quality of the coffee capsules puts the Nespresso D290 up on a par with much more expensive machines. The wide variety of flavors, convenience and the benefit of a frother/steam wand adds up to a versatile machine that looks good and works well!

The Nespresso D290 comes with an Espresso and Lungo cup and saucers, a set of 12 capsules and a ring binder containing all you need to know about espresso coffee and the Nespresso D290 operating features.

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Review of the Totally Wicked E-Cig

ENIC (Electronic Nicotine Imitation Cigarettes). We offer a variety of different brands and formats. These all deliver nicotine to the user with a regulated and non-toxic delivery method. Particular lines we offer include the Tornado series and the Titan series.

In particular the Screwdriver E-NI- MKII is a unique E-Smoking device which contains a heavy duty rechargeable 900 mAh Battery Ni (compared to many at less than 200mAh). Available in black and silver, the Screwdriver E-NI- MKII is under $100. The Tornado and Titan series come in a variety of colors, come with dual atomizers, and are under $80.

Flavors

A huge range of flavorings – these include regular flavors such as menthol – and popular choices such as cherry and Habana reserve, a Havana cigar flavor. There are many flavors to choose from and are diverse, from Parma Violet to Lemon Meringue! The Patriot Range USA E-Liquid is a popular E-liquid that comes in a 5-pack multipack in several flavors; Cherry Cigar, Coconut &Chocolate, Coffee, Double Apple Shisha, Ice Menthol.

Refillable cartridges

Totally Wickeds Refillable E-Cig cartridges. These can be re-filled by the user, and vapors added. As there are a number of different E-Cig products available, we have cartridges to match all our E-Cig product line. Empty cartridges are available for users to complete their own blends.

Compared to the many brands of E-Cig available on the market, we have the clear forerunner, the Screwdriver MKII made by Trog. This great product with its stylish design and multi format is a much sought after E-Cig device. From the cheap atomizers and rechargeable (less than $2 ea) batteries, the Screwdriver MKII can be purchased in a pen, or convenient mini-style.

Our Guarantee

We guarantee to replace or refund any E-Cig device found to be faulty within the first 28 days of purchase.

The expected lifetime of a typical E-Cig product is about 10 weeks for the rechargeable batteries, and up to 8 weeks for the atomizer. This will obviously vary depending upon the amount of use. Each cartridge lasts about the same as two packs of regular tobacco cigarettes.

For those buying online, a 20% discount is available some of our product lines, and promotional codes are accepted at checkout.

Power users

Batteries such as the 900mAh fitted to the Screwdriver MKII have extended lifetimes, suitable for those who may not be able to get a re-charge conveniently or for the heavier E-Cig user. The lower end products use cheap AAA type cells, most use Lithium rechargeable/replaceable types. Most products are designed to have a minimum of one day’s use until a recharge is required.

So why buy Totally Wicked?

Totally Wicked offer a stylish range of E-Cig products and accessories, including the market-leading Screwdriver MKII.

Carefully packaged with all the items you need, we offer complete E-Cig solutionsand starter kits. Added to the basic E-Cig liquids are an exciting and alternate assortment of vapor flavoring liquids. Carry cases range from the austere soft leather case, to the fun, designer clasp cases unique to Totally Wicked and bearing our striking designer logo.

Review of a popular brand of tea:

Yunnan Gold Tea

The huge country of China has a number of regions where fine tea is grown and Yunnan Province, situated at the southwestern-most end of China along the Viet-Nam border, has a tea growing pedigree beyond two millennia. They have a mountainous geography that produces absolutely perfect conditions for growing what are probably the finest teas in the world. Yunnan Gold Tea is so named because it contains downy tips of a beautiful pale golden color blended with some white and dark bud leaves. This is a black tea but would not be recognized as one; the gentle tones of color translate perfectly into a “golden” flavor that is aromatically uplifting and refreshing to taste.

Luxury is not the only one of this tea’s attractive features – its health benefits alone would make it an ideal regular dietary addition. Tea is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols both of which help promote vascular health, reduce cholesterol, assist the digestive system and increase the body’s ability to defend itself against disease. Components of tea make it an effective deterrent to many cancers. These are not paltry claims; they are researched and scientifically proven. Drinking tea is very beneficial to the body and cannot be over-emphasized what a great beverage it is.

This variety of tea that produces this large leaf with its golden tips is a “Yunnan Da Ye” Pu-erh variety and is only grown in the Yunnan Province. Production is a complex process managed by some of the finest tea masters in China. Their devotion to making perfect tea is apparent in its excellence. Tea is carefully picked by experienced picker, and delivered to a type of building like an “oast” house (where beer hops are dried) where it is warmed and humidified in a fermentation room, turned, covered in hemp cloth, turned again and all the while enduring an 80oF high humidity environment. Close monitoring of all these conditions is what makes for the creamy golden color they produce and the delicate balance of flavors.

This tea tastes slightly malty and chocolaty but also exceptionally smooth and mellow with a honey-like overtone and leaves the palate refreshed and invigorated. This is a connoisseur’s choice and should be revered by its drinkers in deference to the efforts that go into its production. If you could just have one tea for the rest of your life, this might not be a bad choice by a long stretch.